the brigade to re-form on the plank road, which had scarcely been done when orders were received from General Hill to move down the road by the flank. On reaching the position in the road occupied by General Hill, he directed me to deploy two regiments, one on the right, the other on the left of the road, to check the enemy, who were then advancing. These movements had not been completed before the enemy opened heavily upon the Fifty-fifth Virginia regiment. It was here that gallant and promising officer, Colonel F. Mallory, was killed. Soon after, General Hill informed me that he was wounded, and directed me to take command of the division. General Lane's brigade, at this time, was in line of battle on the right of the road, occupying the breastworks from which the enemy had been driven. I directed General Pender to form his brigade in line of battle on the left of the road, occupying the deserted breastworks of the enemy. Before the remaining brigades could be placed in line of battle, the enemy, under Sickles, advanced and attacked General Lane's right. He was handsomely repulsed by the Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth, and a portion of the Thirty-third North Carolina regiments. This attack was made by the enemy under cover of heavy shelling. These regiments behaved with commendable courage and zeal in repelling at least five times their numbers. McGoWan's brigade was now ordered on Lane's right, and soon after, Archer's brigade on McGowan's right. Thomas's brigade, posted on the left of the road, and on Pender's left. Heth's brigade was held as a reserve. In this position the division remained until just after daybreak, when Heth's brigade was ordered up. Two regiments — the Fortieth and Forty-seventh Virginia--were placed on the right of the road, supporting Lane's left; the Fifty-fifth and Twenty-second Virginia battalion on the left, to support Pender's right. Major-General Stuart now ordered me to prepare to advance. I ordered Generals McGowan and Archer to move forward, as the line formed by their brigades was not perpendicular to the plank road, but inclined to the right and rear. Archer's brigade only advanced a short distance, before it became hotly engaged, the enemy being strongly posted behind breastworks, making an angle with the plank road. I now gave the order for a general advance. The light division (A. P. Hill's) forming the front line, opened the battle of Chancellorsville. Generals Pender and Thomas, on the left, found the enemy posted behind a breastwork of logs and brush, immediately in their front, at a distance of about one hundred and fifty yards. The breastworks were charged and carried, the men never hesitating for a moment, driving the enemy before them, and pursuing him until a second line was reached, which was in like manner broken. A third line of the enemy was now encountered. After a desperate and prolonged fight without supports, or a piece of artillery to aid them, but on their part subjected to heavy artillery fire of from ten to twelve pieces, these gallant brigades fell back, in order, to the breastworks, from which the enemy had been driven, and which they held until reenforcements were brought up, when again the attack was renewed, and the enemy driven from this part of the field of battle. Lane's brigade, supported by the Fortieth and Forty-seventh Virginia regiments, (Heth's brigade,) and McGowan's brigade advanced and charged the enemy behind his breastworks, who was supported by twenty-nine pieces of artillery. I cannot conceive of any body of men ever being subjected to a more galling fire than this force. The brigades of Lane, McGowan, and a portion of Heth's, (Colonel Brockenbrough commanding,) notwithstanding, drove the enemy from his works and held them for some time, but were finally compelled to fall back, which was unavoidable, from the course that affairs had assumed on the right of the line. As soon as Archer's brigade commenced to move, it became hotly engaged. General Archer was compelled to conform his line of battle to that of the enemy, which, as I before remarked, in his front, was not perpendicular, but formed a considerable angle with the plank road. McGowan's right thus became separated from Archer's left, and the interval increased as the enemy were driven before them, until McGowan and Lane found that their right flanks were seriously threatened. It was not until this occurred that these two brigades fell back to the line of works from which they first commenced to advance. Many valuable officers and men were lost in the charge, and especially when falling back. It was here that General McGowan was wounded, the command of his brigade devolving on Colonel Edwards, who was, immediately after assuming command, seriously wounded. The command of McGowan's brigade next devolved on Colonel Hamilton, First South Carolina regiment, who commanded the brigade during the remainder of the action. General Archer advanced with his brigade, conforming his line of battle to that of the enemy. He charged the works in his front, and without the least halt or hesitation, carried them, driving the enemy before him, who outnumbered him five to one. General Archer succeeded in capturing a battery of four guns. By his gallant attack he secured the key to the enemy's position, clearing a hill and open space in his front, and thus gaining for our artillery a position, from which they were enabled to silence the twenty-nine gun battery of the enemy, which had inflicted so much loss upon our lines. From this position our artillery had also a raking fire on the enemy's works on our right. General Archer, after carrying the hill referred to, advanced beyond the open space and attacked the enemy on his right. He was joined by Major-General Anderson. About this time the enemy threatened to turn Thomas's and Pender's left. Reenforcements were ordered to them, among which, McGowan's brigade (Colonel Hamilton commanding) formed a part. As soon as reenforcements reached Pender and Thomas a general advance took place, and, aided by our artillery, which had not been able. to assist us in any previous attack, the works of the enemy were cleared, and retreating rapidly, he fell back in the direction of United States Ford. Thus ended the battle of Chancellorsville. Where all behaved so well, it would appear like
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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